(Teagbaggers, Don't Let the Facts get in Your Way!)
It seems as if the people of Arizona have been deluded into believing that "illegal immigrants" are why they no longer have jobs.
What we have to teach people, if it's within our power, is to go into a local Lowe's or Home Depot or some other corporate store. Stand near the cash register and look to the left and then to the right. Look at the aisle identifiers hanging from the ceilings. Note that the contents of the aisles are written in both English and Spanish.
Ask people, "Do you really believe that those who risk their lives coming across the desert into The FUSA have that much influence over American corporations? Do you really believe that these people warned corporate America that, if they didn't put documentation in their stores in Spanish as well as English, they'd refuse to sneak into this country?"
If they have any inkling of an open mind -and I realize that's a stretch -they'd see who the real culprits are. People from poor oppressive countries wouldn't come to this country if they had no reason to come.
So, if corporations didn't take advantage of their illegal status by paying them dirt wages and refused to hire anyone who wasn't an American citizen or at least legally in this country, there would be no reason for people to put so much at risk to come here.
Maybe then you can start to talk to them about how Western Europeans obtained the land that they now call The United States of America. They not only stole it violently from people who'd been living here for centuries, but decided they needed to violently steal land from a sovereign Mexico as well. Arizona, Texas, parts of California and a few other states and territories were already inhabited by Hispanic people. One would think that, once Western Europeans violently took those territories over, they would have had enough compassion to allow the people to maintain their own language and culture.
Western Europeans had been living in an almost constant state of violence for thousands of years before they came to this place and it was embedded in them.
Be careful. There's a new empire developing over here or over there and, sure enough, the new empire would attempt to expand by using might to conquer areas that had been sovereign before that new empire had even come into existence. It didn't matter, though, did it? The new empire didn't own all of the natural resources it needed and it was going to be damned if it was going to compensate another nation for what it needed and/or wanted.
Of course I'm not saying that indigenous peoples all over the world didn't battle with one another. Let's face it, if it wasn't for corrupt tribal leaders in Africa, it would have been much more difficult for Western Europeans to institute and rely so heavily upon the enslaving of Africans.
However, what makes me believe that indigenous people in Africa or in what is now The Americas weren't nearly as violent as Western Europeans is the simple fact that their weaponry wasn't as technologically advanced as that of the Western Europeans. Consequently, the Western Europeans ultimately violently defeated indigenous people wherever they encountered them.
If we look at some of the tools indigenous people had, some of the dress they wore, some of the governance they used, we can debunk anyone who would say that nothing indigenous peoples had was as advanced as what Western Europeans had. No, Western Europeans spent a great part of their wealth improving the tools of warfare, much like the present Former United States of America.
Of course, the conquerors tried to assimilate the conquered into their culture because they knew that if the conquered were to maintain their own culture and/or language, it would be easier to conspire to regain their freedom and autonomy.
This brings us right back to Arizona. People who have the most right to call themselves "Arizonans" or whatever the Spanish or indigenous name of the area was originally, if it, indeed, was different, are being told by people who don't come close to having that right to leave, preferably, and if they don't leave, to give up their own identity and become as much like the "new" arrivals as possible. In fact, in the case of Arizona, the "conquered" are almost being asked to change the color of their skin even though people with that color of skin were there before the blanched conquerors showed up.
I'm not Hispanic, but my ancestry is fully Sicilian. Sicily is so close to northern Africa that, for 900 years, it was an Arab/Muslim territory. You'd never be able to confuse me with a Scandinavian, at least not by the color of my skin.
The reason I mention this is because, taking into account my beard as well as skin color, I bet dollars to racists that some Arizona "peace officer" would think it within her or his rights to stop me and ask me for my "papers". I just hope that I would have the NY Times with me at that moment.
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